The thaw really set in this week. It was surprising how quickly the low ground turned green and by midday on Monday the river was rising. It continued to rise all week, culminating in a big water of around 8ft on Sunday. The big water was mainly due to snow melt, the Spey missed the rain that fell further south. I say that the river was about 8ft as the SEPA gauges are still out of action following the Cyber attack they experienced just before Christmas. In order to provide some information for those anglers unfortunate not to live close to the river we have been posting daily information about river heights, colour etc via social media.
You will probably have gathered from the long winded intro that there are no catches to report. Robbie Stronach (Rothes beat) was telling me that they have only had rods on the river three days so far this year, due to the adverse conditions. I was there on one of these days and it was arduous, to say the least. We can only hope that the river will settle this week. It is frustrating that the weather has switched from one extreme to the other so rapidly and so consistently. The week before last it was -20, this week there has been hardly any frost and the daytime temperatures were up to 10c. Two months worth of snow is disappearing fast but there is still plenty on the hills. The frost and wind had at least had a chance to weather the snow and blow it into deep banks which should last for a while.
Robbie was also telling me a saying on their beat – when there are oystercatchers on the riverbank then there are fish in the river. The birds are there we just need some settled conditions to get in amongst them.
Finally, I really do hope that conditions improve next week as Roger asked me to take over the report writing for a few weeks until the new media person is in position. He is due to start at the beginning of March, which gives me one more week. I do not want to end my short tenure as report writer for the Spey Fishery Board without a fish to report!